When Deutsche Terminboerse successfully wrangled the bund contract from its London rival, it represented more than just a repatriation of the German rates contract. The migration of the bund heralded a new age of electronic trading and very nearly brought down the slow moving beast that was Liffe, remembers John Parry.
Tensions ran high at Liffe board meetings in the mid 1990s.
Twelve years of unbridled growth from its startup in 1982 to
153m contracts traded in 1994 were followed by its first year
of setback, when volumes reversed to 132m in 1995.
The problem was the bund – Liffe’s
largest contract – was under threat from an upstart
computerised exchange in Frankfurt. The Liffe board was split
between those who wanted to respond by competing
electronically and those who wanted to keep the very
successful open outcry trading on the floor. This fundamental
difference brought the mighty Liffe to the point of near
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